Endovenous Laser Therapy

Endovenous laser therapy, known as EVLT, is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat unsightly varicose veins. It is fast, safe, and effective, providing and provides cosmetic benefits which improve the patient's quality of life. EVLT is a simple, outpatient procedure which takes place in the doctor's office and takes less than an hour. It provides immediate relief from symptoms without scarring or lengthy recovery. It has a success rate of 98 percent and has been FDA approved.

The EVLT Procedure

During the EVLT procedure, the doctor first marks the damaged vein and prepares the area with an antiseptic. Once a local anesthetic has been applied, a laser probe is inserted into the vein. The physician maneuvers the probe precisely, using ultrasound imaging to identify problems in particular veins and position the laser accordingly.

Laser energy is then targeted along the length of the damaged vein, causing its walls to collapse so that blood can no longer flow through. Blood from this vein will be diverted to functional veins. As these healthy veins take over, circulation frequently improves and symptoms are relieved. Once the procedure of endovenous laser therapy is completed, the probe is removed from the vein and a dressing and compression bandages are applied to the area. The entire EVLT procedure takes less than an hour to perform and is a viable option for almost all patients.

The Risks of an EVLT

Although EVLT is considered safe, there are certain risks associated with any surgical procedure. Some of these risks may include:

  • Numbness
  • A drawing sensation
  • Phlebitis
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Infection
  • Failure of the procedure

Recovery from an EVLT

After the EVLT procedure, most patients experience mild bruising and tightness in the legs, although these side effects usually subside within a few days. Patients can return home immediately and many are able to resume work and other normal activities the very same day. Exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for a period recommended by the physician.

Results from the EVLT procedure are visible immediately. Once the procedure is completed and recovery has taken place, most patients can enjoy pain-free, more attractive legs. The vast majority of patients who have EVLT are satisfied with the results. Because the level of patient satisfaction is much higher for EVLT than it is for comparative procedures, EVLT is quickly becoming the new standard for treating varicose veins.

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